30th International Hospitallers Conference in Krakow

30th International Hospitallers Conference in Krakow

The 30th International Hospitallers Conference took place on 15, 16 and 17 March in Krakow, with the participation of over 35 heads of humanitarian projects of the worldwide network of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

“The purpose of this International Hospitaller Meeting is clear: to strengthen the Order’s hospitaller function to better serve our Lords: the poor and the sick around the world” said the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, in opening the conference. The three-day event included speeches, presentations on key issues as well as workshops focusing on how to reinforce collaboration among the different entities of the Order.

The humanitarian drama unfolding in Gaza took centre stage on the first day with a letter presented to the Grand Master by Father Davide Meli, Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, on behalf of Latin Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, praising the work of the Order of Malta and calling for a coordinated action to provide aid to the Gaza population.

“The primacy of charity, the primacy of love: this is the only possible answer to the banality of evil” said the Grand Hospitaller Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis – quoting the 1963 book by philosopher Hannah Arendt – and in urging his colleagues to “roll up their sleeves and work with competence to do better and better to serve the poor and the sick”, following the unwavering motto of the Order: serving the poor and witnessing the faith.

The work of the Order of Malta in Ukraine was recalled in what is the most prominent engagement undertaken by the Order since World War II. Following a heartfelt account by a volunteer from Mariupol, the lives of seven Order of Malta volunteers killed in Ukraine were then honoured in a sombre moment with a prayer for peace.

On the first day, Holy Mass at the Wawel Cathedral was presided over by H. Em. Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz and on the second day, the Grand Master visited the Malta Centre for Disabled Children in Wola Justowska where, together with the Mayor of Krakow, Mr. Jacek Majchrowski, he unveiled a commemorative plaque.

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